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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  February 3, 2008
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Topic category:  Other/General

Mitt Romney, NOT John McCain

Voters CAN constitutionally vote for or against Mitt because he's a Mormon, or Hillary because she's a woman, or Barack because he's black, but they SHOULD NOT.

Instead, voters should support Mitt because he's the best choice.

I use a values test, not a religious test, in voting, and am supporting Mitt Romney as the candidate who would best promote my political values as President of the United States.

I want a president with real personal integrity, regardless of his (or her) personal religious preference, and a genuine conservative Republican, not a man who contemplated abandoning the Republican Party and being Senator John Kerry's vice presidential nominee in 2004.

Obviously, that's Mitt, not McCain.

I'm a Catholic; Mitt's a Mormon.

Fine. I'm looking for a Commander-in-Chief, not a Pastor-in-Chief; a political leader, not a religious leader.

It's important to me that Mitt's private life has been exemplary. He'll not an adulterer, like Bill Clinton, or Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain. He won't embarrass America, because he won't embarrass himself.

When Mitt's wife became ill, Mitt stood by her.

After the first Mrs. McCain's terrible accident and McCain reaching his 40's, McCain dumped her for a rich. much younger second wife.

Mitt's a faithful Mormon who stated in his fabulous "Faith in America" speech:

"There are some....[who] would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers I will be true to them and to my beliefs.

"Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it."

Good for him!

That's standing strong on fundamental principle, not flip-flopping for political advancement.

That's not foolishly abandoning the basic teachings of one's religion, as political opportunists like Senator John Kerry and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani did.

Mitt continued:

"...I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience.

"Americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world."

Hopefully, Mitt's faith in the American people is justified.

Is it?

Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanardo: "Post-mortem preview? With Mitt Romney on the ropes, the post-mortems are inevitable; call them O-Mitt-uaries. Anyway, we're starting to hear from a lot of smart Republican strategists about what happened. And the thing that everyone seems to come back to is Romney's religion. Why? Ask yourself: Without the issue of Romney's religion, does Mike Huckabee ever take off? Because Mike Huckabee is the single biggest obstacle to Romney coalescing economic and social conservatives behind him to take on McCain. Take a close look at the Florida results by county from Tuesday night. In more than half of Florida's 67 counties (37 to be exact), the Romney-Huckabee combined vote total equaled or surpassed 50%. And in those counties, 17 of them tipped to McCain. Well, extrapolate this out to, say, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee or Georgia this Tuesday. Will the combined Romney-Huck total surpass 50% while delivering all four states to McCain? Now, if Romney hadn't given evangelicals second thoughts simply over his religion, would Mike Huckabee have happened? It may be Romney needs another four years to convince evangelicals his religion won't interfere with their priorities.

National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez promptly posted this statement under the words "Pray for Us".

National Review Online's Jim Geraghty quickly noticed that Kathryn Jean Lopez had posted the statement and posted it himself, under the title "A Potential Supremely Ugly Fact In the GOP Results," with these comments:

"Kathryn noted this in the Corner a bit earlier, but perhaps the idea ought to be denounced by somebody less associated with enthusiasm for Romney."

"If Romney loses this primary... and if after all the primaries, analysts and race watchers dig into the exit poll data and the demographics and the issue questions and everything else, and it becomes clear that Mitt Romney lost because of his faith, it will be appalling, and the GOP electorate will be rightly derided for applying a religious litmus test."

As one who has supported Mitt enthusiastically and believes that Mitt would have won in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida but for Huck running as a self-described Christian leader in Iowa and even preaching in a church before the South Carolina primary, I do take exception to the notion that Article IV of the Constitution presumed to suggest that voters should not take a candidate's religious views into account in deciding for whom to vote.

Article VI states in pertinent part: "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Qualifications exclude those who do not qualify, but voters are free to support or oppose candidates as they think fit.

Article II, Section II sets forth the qualifications for presidential candidates: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and have been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

A person over 30 is eligible, but that does NOT make it improper, much less "supremely ugly," for a voter to decide that he or she will not vote for a candidate under 40, or 50, or over 70, or 75. Voters are free to set a personal higher minimum age, or a maximum age (even though the Constitution does not set one).

Likewise, voters MAY take a candidate's sex, or race, or religion into account. Restrictions on governmental action are not also restrictions on the freedom of choice of voters.

John Jay was an expert on the Constitution. He was one of the three authors of The Federalist Papers and the first Chief Justice of the United States.

Jay opined (a letter to John Murray dated October 12, 1816): "Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

He was entitled to his opinion.

Jay happened to be an anti-Catholic Episcopalian as well as a Founding Father.

Wikipedia: "In New York, Jay argued unsuccessfully in the provincial convention for a prohibition against Catholics holding office. In February 1788, the New York legislature under Jay's guidance approved an act requiring officeholders to renounce all foreign authorities 'in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil', an 'anti-Catholic' act designed to bar Catholics from holding public offices."

As a Catholic, I obviously disagree with Jay about whether Catholics should be qualified for New York public office, but I would not condemn him for using a personal religious test in voting.

Voters should not support Mitt to show that they are not biased against Mormons, or Hillary to show that they are not biased against women, or Barack to show that they are not biased against blacks.

Voters CAN constitutionally vote for or against Mitt because he's a Mormon, or Hillary because she's a woman, or Barack because he's black, but they SHOULD NOT.

Instead, voters should support Mitt because he's the best choice.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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Copyright 2008 by Michael J. Gaynor
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